It was meant to be. I was to run the 50 km after tossing and turning about whether I should run longer or not. Afterall, I have just completed a full marathon on the week before on 17 November 2013.Arrived at Surabaya 2 days earlier was great. Coz I for the first time a long time felt I am on holiday. And this trip is my birthday holiday. Met up with Chris Paul Kawinda who kindly checked me into a local hotel coz I arrived real late in the nite. Unfortunately, I had a fall and hurted my left knee after I had a shower on the slippery floor…The next day, we went off to Fitri Ismiyanti place where I stayed the nite at this wonderfully happy spirited lady, a very motiviated and enthusiatic runner. We had such wonderful time laughing eating and even went to meet up with some Indo Runners that evening.So the next morning off we went to Bromo in 2 MPVs and we arrive Lava View Hotel (this is the startline of 100km and 165 km events). Such a lovely view indeed as the hotel name said. Weather was great, cool and calm.Got my racepack, took heaps of photos and met so many other runners.
At 4 am, we were transported to Ranepane, where the startline of 50 km event.
At 5 am sharp, the race begin, and by then the sun has broken into this beautiful mountain. I decided to take off my headlight and put on my cap instead.
After running for about 5 km, my Garmin watch decided to die on me coz I must have accidentally press on the start button while it was in my luggage. Lesson learn, next time I must wear it on my wrist while on the way to race event. Also, I forgot to bring along the charger.
Anyhow I felt great with or without my garmin watch, coz my motive for this event is to graduate into being not just an ultra runner, but to be a real mountain trail ultra runner, so time is no essence…
Shortly after my garmin watch died, I managed to push myself through to lead the ladies pack.
From then on, I was happily running, power walking, through the forest, through the mountain slopes, indeed I was happy, so many has cheered me on. It was unbelievable how many called on to my name. I dont think I can remember all of them. Yet these callings brings such joy to me.
One of the runners, Stefan Knudsen from Denmark decided to tag along and we were happily moving on passing a great number of runners. Along the way, I am unable to remember all names, if you remember, please tag yourself here.
From Ranupane 2100 m down and up to Ranu Kombolo 2400 m W3 station where I decided not to refill anything. Just kept on going to Kalimati 2700 m and had my first drink up of my Fitliine Performance sachet and very quickly making my way to Ranu Kumbolo W4 station. Had a another quick drink of the Fitline Performance sachet and again quickly left the station of W3. These are all beautiful sub tropical not quite tropical, coz the weather is pretty cool, cant tell you the temperature unfortunately, but very comfortable feel and not sweating. Love the view and trees the climb.
Shortly after I arrive at km 25, I came to a junction with 3 ribbons, this was where I got lost. Both me and Stefan decided to turn left and after plodding for a while, we notice there was no more ribbons. Aaagh, we stopped, hesitated and decided to u-turn to get back to the original ribbon. By this time the sun was getting rather fierce.
We ran back unfortunate, we notice the ribbon did tell us to run to the left! And off we got back to the left again and ran all the way to the next junction and this was where we met Rizal Hakeem, we had a chat and told him we have already done this turn and if we run it again, we will be doing our second time on this loop. Nevertheless, there was no other choice but to do the loop one more time.
Then we got to the same junction again and then we turn right instead and then came to the ribbon where we had to go down the very steep hill… yes, here we had lotsa fun… I tried to run down with much difficulties. Finally after less than 5 minutes, I decided to sit on my butt and just let nature take its course… I slide down all the way while the rest of the runners were watching unbelievably at what I was doing. I bet they all did the same after that!!
So I managed to turn something rather dangerouss into something rather fun!! Reminded me of the times when I was liviing In New Zealand when in the summer we often take our flatten cardboxes and go down Mt Victoria at Devonport at the North Shore of Auckland with my kids.
By then I was of course actually hurrying coz I have lost a good 30 minutes too, thats why I decided to slide down… I had to catch up with lost time. Some of the runners have mentioned to me there were quite a few female runners who had passed. So my lead has vanished, alas..
Suddenly from the heat and the weakness, I had 2 energy bars and got back to being strong again. It is amazing to note here, when ones heart decided to get strong, the brain will just follow…
My journey at BTS, became stronger and stronger again….
At some stage here, Stefan who has been faithfully following right behind me deided that he had no more water in the Platypus and get left behind.
I on the other hand had started the next incline to Jempalang. Oh dear, what can I say, this never ending climb took forever.. km 30 just about towards km 35 are the hardest. Because in a marathon, km 35 we start to hit the wall. But I refused to let this never ending incline to give me the negative feeling. I took my Fitline Performance sachet again and kept on going.
Trust me, there were so many Ojek, motorbikers that shouted to to ask if I wanna a lift.. Haha, I have a running bib. No thanks. Along the way, also passed many other runners. So I know I was doing really well in this incline being able to pass others.
So passed W5A station 2400m. And then the down started, I rushed through these broken cement slabs, passing Hui Mathews and her husband along the way, I just ran as I did when I did the Bromo Marathon.. the feeling was great.
Then suddenly, the facade was to change…
The sand start to appear! Wow, the scenery was amazing, beautiful, but the soft sand will be yet another challenge. The savannah look and waves of the sand.. just unbeatable!
I ran along passing yet another lady runner and then I caught up with Handy Trisakti and told him I will try to tag along with him, coz I saw how he walked at an amazing pace. I shall try to keep as close to him as possible.
Coz here, I am starting to feel the lethargic of my legs. After some major running downhill. I was surprised by my own want of my heart. Indeed, I managed to keep up with him.
Shortly after, another set of beautifully made sand dunes started to show. Wow! That was in my mind. This is where I started to eat my Korma, dried dates and sip my drinks.
Beautiful and how am I going to conquer these never ending sand dunes, with the sand storms blowing very often. At some stage Handy had sand in his mouth!!! Full of them, he was complaining, by then I had my glasses on. But I decided I did not need the buff as I was too lazy to take it out from my bag and it will slow me down as well. But the glasses was really good, coz it protected my eyes…
Both of us kept going up and down and up and down those dunes. Soft as they were, beautiful as they were, if u are not careful, you will step wrongly and will roll down these tiny hills and then climbing up again will be a great bother!!
Finally we managed to catch up with another 2 more runners and we were in a pack of 4. We just kept on going and I and Handy managed to take over and got to the next station where I decided to take off my shoes unload the sand (not wearing the gaiter from the start was a great mistake, I should have but I did not). So finally, refill my drinks and had a cafeine gel coz I ran out of my Fitline Performance sachet.
As we started to move I saw Jane Djuarahadi, from the top yelling down as she moved off to complete her run. Both me and Handy went up the steps and down again. Hurrying down, and shortly after that I saw the girl in her hijap again, running infront of me. I was like, hmm where did she come from. I didnt see her passing me at all…
Nevertheless, she was just ahead of me by not much. Then we came to another incline. This is the final incline before we reach Lava View Hotel where the finish line is.
The finish was at 2240m..
The finish was exhilarating…
The finish was an accomplishment to me..
The finish graduated me into a true Mountain Trail Ultra runner…
Something I have been dreaming of since I DNF at Mt MOUNT RINJANI ULTRA!!
I did it! I did my 50 km in 10 hours 8 minutes…